Chelsea look set to concede their Premier League title but Antonio Conte says it has been a “fantastic” season at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte says he has had a “fantastic” season at Chelsea, dismissing suggestions of a drop in mentality from the Premier League champions.
Manchester City’s runaway campaign has left the rest of England’s elite in their wake, including the Blues, who are 19 points behind the leaders and look certain to surrender their title.
Of the previous six managers to win the league, only Manuel Pellegrini has stayed in the job throughout the following campaign, the Chilean lasting two years at City before he was replaced by Pep Guardiola.
Conte has a contract at Stamford Bridge until the end of next season but has been regularly linked with a departure when 2017-18 concludes – reports he has routinely batted away.
Chelsea have only won one of their last four games to fall further away from City, with Tottenham snapping at their heels in fifth place, but Conte says his players have not lost focus.
“We missed only one game mentality-wise, against Watford [a 4-1 defeat],” Conte said. “From the start of the season, in every game, our mentality was top.
“There is always great commitment and great behaviour. But I’ve said this many times. I’m very happy to be the coach of these players. I’m very pleased, 100 per cent, to work with these players.
“A winning mentality is about the way you prepare the game, your commitment during training sessions, always at 100 per cent and to have good behaviour with your coach, team-mates, fans, the opponents… this is a winning mentality.”